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A Concert of Orchestral Works

Synopsis

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BY
SIR ALEXANDER MACKENZIE
THE WIRELESS ORCHESTRA (Leader, S. KNEALE KELLEY
)
Conducted by THE COMPOSER
Prelude, No. 1, ' Astarte ' (' Manfred ')
Burns' Second Scottish Rhapsody
Overture, ' The Cricket on the Hearth
Benedictus
Two Dances from ' The Little Minister (Nos. 2 and 3)
Entr'acte, 'The Feast' ('The Troubadour,
Act III
SIR ALEXANDER MACKENZIE , who celebrated his eightieth birthday in 1927, has ranged over many fields of experience and of composition. He had good musical forbears, for his great-grandfather played in a Militia band, his grandfather was a violinist, and so was his father, who was leader of the orchestra in an Edinburgh theatre. From ten to fifteen he was studying music in Germany. Then, until he was eighteen, he studied at the Royal Academy of Music, to which he was to return as Principal thirty-three years later.
A period of work in Scotland was followed by ten years in Italy, and finally by thirty-six at the head of the Academy.
His works include half a dozen Operas, a dozen Oratorios and Cantatas (among which The Rose of Sharon is probably the best known), a good many orchestral pieces, including incidental music to plays, besides songs and chamber music. Sir Alexander has recently published a book of reminiscences, ' A Musician's Narrative.'
Astarte is one of three Preludes that
Mackenzie wrote for a proposed production of Byron's Manfred at the Lyceum in 1898-a performance that did not take place.
The Burns piece, the second of three
Scottish Rhapsodies, treats in its three linked sections three of the many old tunes for which the poet wrote verses.
The first section deals, in appropriately dignified and resolute style, with Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled.
This section leads without break into the second, which is based on the minor-key melody of a song beginning ' She's fair and fause that causes my smart.' The air is known in very early collections as The Lads of Leith.
The last section of the Rhapsody has for its main tune an air originally known as Salt Fish and Dumplings, to which Burns wrote verses called The Cardin' o't.
The Cricket on the Hearth is an Opera to a libretto which Julian Sturgis made out of Dickons' novel. The Overture makes a rapid survey of the affairs and happening of which
' we read in the ' Christmas Books.'
It is appropriate that one Scotsman should write the incidental music for another Scotsman's play. When Barrie brought out in 1897 The Little Minister, his adaptation for the stage of his popular novel, Mackenzie composed the incidental music for the production. Of the three Dances which form the Entr'actes, the first is a Lilt, the second a Pastoral Dance, and the last an Ecossaise.
The Troubadour, an Opera with libretto by Dr. Francis Hueffer, music critic and author, was brought out by tho Carl Rosa Company in 1886. This cheerful music accompanies a feast in a lordly castle.

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A Concert of Orchestral Works

5XX Daventry, 6 May 1928 15.30






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